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2 Bumps

To sleep train or not...getting desperate

I never imagined our 1 year old would still be waking 3 to 4 times per night. Last week I was excited and thought things were changing...she did a few 6 hour stretches, waking to nurse just once. But, alas, we're back to the same old routine, which is wreaking havoc on my marriage because my husband feels I should just give her the breast as many times as it takes to basically shut her up. Due to the layout of our house, she's still in our room which I feel is a disaster. There is one other room upstairs but I feel we need to do whatever we need to, to get her in her own space and away from the source of milk! I don't know what to do but I'm going insane with the unpredictibility of he sleep habits and the early wakings. I've read a lot, and know the techniques and am ready to implement a gentle version of crying-it-out...but not while she's in our room. Just wondering what other people's experiences have been with this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:36 AM on Jul. 23, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (15)
  • Maybe she is going through a growth spurt and still needs the milk. Not real sure on advice...mainly I know there will be a lot of crying involved at least at first and she is at least one so, it is "ok" to CIO.

    I don't really have advice, I am of the co-sleep and nurse until they stop type.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 8:42 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I used cow's milk at age one. They should be sleeping during the night. My 1st slept through the night at 2 months. My 2nd took longer though. You need to put her in her bed and let her cry it out. It's not fun but if you do it for a week she will finally go to bed without crying as much and you will get more sleep.

    Answer by SwtSnowflake2 at 8:52 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I would just try to wean from night feedings first. Just stop offering at night. It will probably be a bit hard. She'll want to eat because she's used to it. Just comfort her until she goes back to sleep. You will be very tired - but keep at it. She'll eventually get it. Once she's night weaned - move her to her room. This will probably require more sleepless nights from you. I don't CIO - I just can't do that to my baby. He still wakes, usually, about once a night. I just go to him and hold him until he goes back to sleep. I know it's hard and you're tired. But remember that this too shall pass! She'll STTN soon. Just start with the night weaning! :) Good luck!

    Answer by Katt709 at 9:13 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Five hours is considered a sleep through. The VAST majority of babies wake every 3-4 hours on average for needed feeds and/or peeing. They wake more during growth spurts, teething, and new milestones. In the first year, sleep patterns change a lot and a baby may sleep a long stretch one week during a growth spurt and the next wake frequently. All normal. Sleep patterns don't really settle into a more mature pattern until age three or four. Some babies sleep a lot in the first half of the year, but end up waking more later. There is nothing "bad" about a baby that doesn't sleep long stretches of more than four to six hours...they aren't bad sleepers as some say. They are quite normal. It's actually we adults who have forgotten how to sleep effectively because we watch the clock too much.

    Answer by amileegirl at 10:09 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • It's healthy and normal for toddlers to nurse at night. For all of human history mothers have slept with and breastfed their children at night. In most places in the world they still do. It's normal for children to wake at night until they are 3. Take away breastfeeding and then you don't have that for them. Its much easier to have your baby in your room and its great that your husband is ok with that.

    My DIL works and isn't into mothering much. My son and I take care of my grandson and all she does is breastfeed. We treat her like a queen because she does because my grandson has a genetic illness and needs to breastfeed. Anyway, he is 22 mo and when he was around 18 mo night nursing got much easier. He is still in their room but only nurses once or twice.


    Answer by Gailll at 10:11 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • A year old is a major growth spurt and a time for new milestones. She is moving towards longer sleep, if you try to mess with it you could increase wakings and then you will get less sleep on top of having to walk across the house for comfort. unpredictability isn't a problem though she likely has some sort of pattern that you can work with. And young children tend to be early risers.

    Is she waking and chowing? If that is the case then she truly is hungry/thirsty. Does she need a diaper change? Is she waking and taking a nibble and going back to sleep then she's looking for reassurance of safety and you can work with that, though you may trade a 2 minute nibble for a 5, 15, or 30 minute back pat.

    Perhaps you may want to reevaluate why you think this is adisaster. A separate room doesn't necessarily mean you will get more sleep, you may indeed get far less.

    Answer by amileegirl at 10:17 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I'm in a similar situation with my 13 mo old who still nurses several times a night. I have gradually begun the process of trying to get her to nurse less frequently during the night. I'm using the information I got from this article, and so far it is going really well! Last night she slept form 8:30 to 1:30, and I was able to rock her back to sleep w/o nursing, then she woke again and I nursed her at 4am (and she nursed several times from 4-6:30 am). I'm really happy with that! I think you will like this article, this Dr. suggests you keep the baby in your room with you so I think it will work well for your situation: Changing The Sleep Pattern In The Family Bed


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 2:55 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • "They should be sleeping during the night... You need to put her in her bed and let her cry it out."
    No, there is no where it says that she "should" be sleeping though the night at 1yr. Lots of kids don't.
    No, you don't "need" to let her cry it out. There are other options. I hope you find the article I suggested helpful. I think it is great alternative to CIO, especially for someone who has had their breastfed baby in bed with them. The CIO methods tend to focus on the needs of the parents and ignore the needs of the child. This method tries to cover the needs of the baby and the parents.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 2:58 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Well, want the good news? Yours is a normal child.

    Want the bad news? Your husband is right. **grin** (Seems he managed to escape Y Chromosome Defect Syndrome!)

    Now. Best thing to do, if you want to stop night nursing, is to transition baby to another room. BEST method I've ever seen is on It's the article maggiemom referenced above.

    BUT BE WARNED. Night weaning DOES NOT mean sleeping. Nothing can make a child sleep save the child's own need to sleep.

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:05 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • You can try night weaning -- but as has been mentioned already, that doesn't actually mean she won't wake up during the night. . . . . Some kids sleep better than others. My daughter slept 9 hour stretches at 2 months old, and it only got better from there. My son, on the other hand, is 19 months old and still wakes usually once per night to nurse, although in the last month there have finally been more nights than not when he has slept all night. I did sleep training with both of them (daughter at 9 months, son at 4), although not CIO - I used the no-cry sleep solution. They go to bed great - they fall asleep with no fuss - - that doesn't mean I don't have to wake up with them at night *shrug* but after nursing, he goes BACK to bed great :D THAT"S what sleep training accomplished for us - and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 2:57 AM on Jul. 24, 2010

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